"My view has been consistent"; Celtic boss gives his take on Scottish referees

By Euan Davidson

November 19, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t the slightest bit bothered by debate over Scottish referees.

The whistle-blowers have been called into question several times this season. Cameron Carter-Vickers being booked despite being punched and kicked by St Johnstone striker Chris Kane, for example. Questionable penalties being given to Rangers, at very advantageous times, has also been an issue.

However, Postecoglou hasn’t spoken out about the standard of officiating in Scotland yet. Although Ian Bankier spoke about referees at the Celtic AGM, Ange is taking a calmer approach. For him, it’s about getting on with it – regardless of the decisions being made.

He said [Herald]:

“My focus is on the way we play our football and making sure we encourage this group of players to build a team that’s resilient to withstand any challenges that are put before us.

“My view on referees has been consistent since day one.

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“No one has heard me mention a referee after a game. If I feel the need, or there’s something to be said, then I’ll always protect the interests of this football club.

“Right now our focus is on playing our football and overcoming the challenge before us in St Johnstone.”

It’ll take a lot for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou to speak up about Scottish referees; that’s probably for the best

Let’s not pretend that, at times, Scottish referees can’t drive us mental. Whether it’s a lack of consistency, a bias or just general incompetence. They’re so often a talking point.

Chris Sutton, on perhaps the more extreme end of the scale, doesn’t believe VAR could help. Purely, because the referees aren’t capable of using it correctly, he says.

Postecoglou’s approach is probably the right one, though. Moan about it too often, and you won’t be taken seriously. Granted, you have to wonder what it might take, given some of what we’ve seen this season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou said he’d do whatever he could to protect the football club, in one of the stranger moments of his unveiling alongside Dom McKay. If that was, indeed, his day 1, then he has been consistent.

The prospect of an angry Ange isn’t something the SFA or Scottish referees would particularly relish, surely.

But using excuses that are out of Celtic’s control isn’t going to be something the manager wants to do. In fact, he seems entirely excuse averse. That’s a good, possibly rare thing for a football manager.

For him, it’s about winning matches regardless of the referees. As attitudes go, that’s got to be the right one to have.

Read more: Celtic captain Callum McGregor on the Scottish football narrative that confuses him